Amendments to the Greek Procedural Tax Code and the Income Tax Code introduce a host of changes, including the introduction of the mutual agreement procedure (MAP) and measures on M&As.
Law 4438/2016, which was published in the Official Gazette on November 28 2016 and is effective from the same date, introduced a new Article 63A in the Procedural Tax Code(Law 4174/2013) to implement the MAP. It also amended the Greek Income Tax Code regarding measures on M&As.
The Greek MAP
The new Article 63A on the MAP is in line with double tax treaties concluded by Greece and the EU Arbitration Convention (90/436/EC), on the elimination of double taxation in connection with the adjustment of profits of associated enterprises, which was ratified by Greece in 1994 under Law 2216/1994.
The MAP can be invoked to resolve issues arising in the context of an applicable double tax treaty and also respective transfer pricing issues (according to Article 9 of the Model Tax Convention and the respective DTAs).
Under the measure, the Greek tax authorities will have the power to conduct the MAP with the relevant foreign tax authorities, and the results of a MAP will be effective upon issuance of a mutual agreement decision. The taxpayer will be notified of the results of a MAP, and should accept them within a 60-day period.
If the taxpayer accepts the results, a respective mutual agreement decision will be issued. This decision is not subject to appeal, nor may the taxpayer resort to any other legal remedy against it.
The General Secretary of Public Revenue is expected to issue a regulatory decision that sets out the specific procedure for invoking the MAP, as well as other details regarding the application of the provision. The actual date of issuance of such a regulatory decision cannot safely be predicted, since no relevant deadline exists.
Tax treatment of Μ&Α transactions
Law 4438/2016 introduced modifications to the tax benefits available for M&A transactions; the exemptions apply for business transformations procedures commencing after November 28 2016.
According to the new provisions, which were communicated and interpreted by the administrative circular POL. 1
198/2016, issued by the General Secretariat of Public Revenues, specific incentives are granted in case of transformations effected under the framework of the Greek Income Tax Code (L. 4172/2013). Moreover, Greek tax authorities can impose additional conditions for the application of the provisions on exchange of shares (article 53) and mergers and demergers (article 54), as prescribed by L. 4172/2013 to combat avoidance and evasion.
The previously applicable regime on transformations under L. 4172/2013 provided only for exemption from income taxes; the latest law extends the scope of the exemptions to include real estate transfer taxes, stamp duty and other taxes (but not the capital duty).
The new provisions aim at assimilating the tax-related benefits granted under other available regimes for company transformations effected with the regime of L. 4172/2013.
By Eftichia Piligou and Vasiliki Athanasaki
© 2017 Deloitte Business Solutions S.A.
Eftichia Piligou, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tax Partner, Transfer Pricing,
Deloitte Business Solutions S.A.
Vasiliki Athanasaki, email@example.com
Tax Assistant Manager, Transfer Pricing,
Deloitte Business Solutions S.A.